Your hamster is deserving of love and affection, as well as an occasional reward. As pawrents, we might want to give our furry pals a fruit treat to keep them healthy.
Grapes are delicious and healthy for our consumption, but can hamsters eat grapes too? In this article, we’ll be touching on the benefits and risks of this fruit and how to feed grapes to your hamsters.
*Disclaimer: Information written in this article should not be used in place of professional advice from a vet. Please consult a vet for help on your hamster’s dietary requirements.
Grapes Nutritional Facts
Apart from offering pelleted hamster foods, it’s good to include some fresh fruits in your hamster’s diet for extra nutrients! 1 serving cup of grapes contains the following nutrients.
Health Benefits of Grapes for Hamsters
Good source of vitamins and minerals
Grapes contain several vitamins and minerals which are essential for your hamster’s health.
For starters, grapes provide a healthy dose of vitamin C. This is crucial in ensuring these furballs have a strong immune system.
The lack of Vitamin C may cause scurvy, a condition that can lead to paralysis of their back legs in severe cases.
This fruit is also a good source of vitamin K, a vitamin that aids blood clotting and helps to strengthen your hamster’s bones.
In addition to Vitamin C and K, grapes also have small amounts of Vitamin B6. This is useful in helping these creatures combat stress and hence, maintain their nervous system and energy levels.
This fruit can also supply your pet with other useful minerals such as calcium and iron. The former helps to boost immunity and maintain healthy bones while the latter improves heart health.
Good source of antioxidants
Grapes contain a substance named resveratrol, which is a powerful antioxidant. This along with other antioxidants can help to boost hamsters’ immune systems.
Antioxidants also help your pet fight against viral and fungal diseases, making them essential for overall health.
Health Risks of Grapes for Hamsters
Grapes are high in fructose, a natural sugar that can cause gas.
They also contain high concentrations of tannins, which can cause stomach upset if consumed in large quantities. Hamsters may be prone to diarrhoea as a result of their sensitive digestive systems.
Dr. Maureen (from Petkeen) has shared that excessive grape consumption can cause hamsters to gain unhealthy weight and develop diabetes. Thus, it’s important to control their sugar intake.
Campbell’s and Chinese hamsters face a higher risk of developing diabetes. If you own these breeds, you may want to seek advice from a vet before feeding them grapes as a snack.
How to Feed Grapes to Hamsters?
Hamsters may have a preference for their fruits. Therefore, it’s recommended to do a taste test before including grapes in their diet.
Here are some pointers you should note if you’d like to try feeding grapes to your pet.
How many grapes can hamsters eat?
According to Sherry (from Petsolino), the amount of grapes that you can feed to your hamster depends on their breed.
Syrian hamsters are the largest breed and therefore, can generally consume more grapes than other breeds. You can give them 1 grape per week.
Roborovskis are the second largest breed, implying that they can consume more than other breeds but less than that of a Syrian. 1/2 a grape per week would be an appropriate amount.
Chinese, Campbell’s and Winter White
These breeds are dwarf hamsters, which means that they have a much smaller appetite. You can consider serving approximately ⅙ of a grape per month as an occasional treat.
How to feed grapes to hamsters
It’s important to introduce new foods, including grapes, slowly and in small bite-sized portions.
Step 1: Wash the grapes
To remove any traces of pesticides or harmful chemicals, thoroughly wash the grape’s exterior with warm water. It’s also advised to peel the skin off for safer consumption.
Step 2: Slice the grapes
Cut the grape into quarters down the centre, exposing the seeds.
Step 3: Remove the seeds
Gently remove the seeds from the centre part of the grape before serving the treat to your pet. This will prevent your hamster from choking.
Monitor your hamster’s behaviour to ensure that they aren’t having an allergic reaction or a stomach upset. Things to look out for include
- Lack of energy – this could indicate that they’re having difficulty digesting the new food
- Lack of appetite – if they aren’t interested in eating their usual foods, it could also be a sign that grapes aren’t a good fit for their diet
- Loose stools or diarrhoea
Frequently asked questions
What types of grapes can hamsters eat?
The colour of the grapes typically has no effect on the health of these creatures. Test out the green, red, and purple grapes to see which one your pet prefers!
It’s best to go for seedless varieties as seeds may pose a choking hazard. Alternatively, you can opt to remove the seeds before feeding them to your pet.
Can hamsters eat grapes with skin?
The skin or peel of a grape isn’t toxic to these furballs, but you may choose to remove it to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.
Can hamsters eat raisins?
Raisins are dried grapes that are higher in sugar content. They can be eaten by hamsters, but only in small quantities.
It’s best to discuss with a vet to see if giving raisins to your pet is appropriate!
Can hamsters eat grapes every day?
Grapes, like other fruits, should only be given to your hamster on an occasional basis. They should also be alternated with other fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas.
Can grapes make my hamster sick?
Too many grapes can cause diarrhoea. These creatures are also at risk of developing obesity and diabetes if they consume too much sugar.
Feeding Grapes to Your Hamsters
Grapes are a great occasional healthy snack for your small furry friend, as long as they’re cleaned properly and served in appropriate amounts!
If you’re still unsure about feeding this fruit as a snack, we’d recommend contacting your vet for more advice on your hamster’s dietary requirements.